World Economic Forum’s Global IT Report: Where Canada Ranks

The World Economic Forum has published its Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011 that ranks countries on a wide range of information technologies metrics. The report describes itself as “the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations.” Canada ranks 8th worldwide on the Network Readiness index down from 7th the year before.  More interesting are the rankings on the issues that lead to the overall ranking.  They include:

Issue Rank
Average cost per minute mobile phone calls 66th
Mobile telephone subscriptions 95th
Mobile subscriptions with data access 68th
Fixed broadband Internet monthly subscription charge 23rd
Government prioritization of ICT 31st
Government procurement of advanced technology products 25th
Importance of ICT to government vision of the future 28th
Household with a personal computer 10th
Broadband Internet subscribers 10th
Internet users 11th
Internet access in schools 13th
Use of virtual social networks 6th
Impact of ICT on access to basic services 23rd

In addition to this data, the report also includes several legal ICT rankings including Canada ranking 10th for laws relating to ICT (ahead of the US, UK, Germany, and France) and 13th for intellectual property protection (ahead of the US, UK, and Japan).


  1. Hmmm… those numbers, to me, seem to indicate the population is ready but the government is not. Very interesting indeed. Even the outsiders see this but the brain trust in charge do not.

  2. some context, please. are these numbers/rankings calculated per capita, or in gross numbers?

  3. Pray tell?
    “Canada … ranks 13th for intellectual property protection (ahead of the US, UK, and Japan).”

    So then, why does Mr. Henderson [CRIA-CEO] continue to insist that its Canada’s poor legal protection for intellectual property that keeps digital innovation out of Canada?

    Is it possible its some other reason?

  4. Spinny-spin-spin
    I wonder what the Goldberg spin will be with this?

  5. Chris Bruner says:

    You can download the report and see all the context you want. It’s very comprehensive and Michael isn’t much able to do more then point you to it.
    On page 185 is the whole Canada section. Some of the figures that jumped out at me are:
    Total tax rate, % profits……………………………29.2……28
    Software piracy rate, % software installed………………29……15
    No. procedures to enforce a contract …………………..36……54
    No. days to enforce a contract………………………..570……75
    Residential phone installation (PPP $)………………..83.0……83
    Residential monthly phone subscription (PPP $) ………..16.7……93
    Business monthly phone subscription (PPP $) ……………29.9….117
    Households w/ personal computer, %……………………82.5……10
    Broadband Internet subscribers/100 pop………………..30.6……10

    GDP (PPP) per capita (PPP $), 2009………………………..37,947

    Also on page 312, burdon of Government regulation Canada is ranked 40.
    However the number of procedures to start a new business we are rated #1 in the world. (It’s just keeping it going that is the problem).

    Just download the pdf and search for Canada to find all the relevant info.

  6. Overall Rating Makes No Sense
    Not sure what kind of algorithm they’re using, but it makes little sense that we are 7th or 8th overall when most of the sub-rankings are well below 10th.

  7. Frankly I don’t think we should put much faith in any of these studies since the results and rankings are totally inconsistent with each other. For example, the much ballyhooed OECD Telecommunications Outlook says Canadians pay 26% less than Americans for cell phone service, the Merrill Lynch Global Wireless Matrix ranks Canada as 4th cheapest in the developed world, the CRTC Telecommunications Monitoring Report ranks Canada about the middle of the pack and this latest study from WEF ranks Canada in 66th place. The absence of any degree of correlation between these international rankings is very disturbing – basically you can’t trust any of them.

  8. Read the report iselft
    There are 71 factors listed in the report itself – so read the whole report – so do as Chris suggests and look at the report itself…

    For instance, no one has mentioned the line:
    2.11 Internet & telephony competition, 0–6 (best) ………..6 ……..1
    Yes that is Rank #1 (tied with several others)

  9. @Rui said: Hmmm… those numbers, to me, seem to indicate the population is ready but the government is not. Very interesting indeed. Even the outsiders see this but the brain trust in charge do not.

    And as an employer what do you do with employees that don’t perform? You fire them. Too bad the Canadian politicians union lacks in any kind of management skills and common sense.

  10. Lol, it who’s world?
    Canada – Internet & telephony competition =6 … Yes that is Rank #1

    I’m not sure how that index is weighted but here are some other countries with a score of 6:

    Uganda (a country torn apart by 30 years of war), Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam, Nicaragua

  11. My wife works as a property manager at a shopping mall here in Calgary and she says the cell phone competition is out of control. In her mall alone, there are 14 stores/kiosks selling cell phones so they won’t even accept applications from anymore cell phone companies looking for space to set up a shop.

  12. 5 years ago when the Liberals were in government Canada was ranked 11th overall.

    Now with a Conservative government Canada is in 8th.

    Just saying…

  13. @Robert

    In Toronto where I am currently there are more stores within in a small area that sell cellphones. However, they are split up over the incumbents: rogers has about 3 within a small block, same for Bell (not including the 2 Source stores in close proximity as well) Some Telus. One Mobilicity. And I am also close to Wind’s HQ. 2 indies (one has shutdown this week though). I hardly call this competition.

  14. @Rui, that sounds very competitive to me. Explain what exactly do you call competition?

    It’s like saying there is no competition in the Auto industry because all we see are Ford, Mazda, Honda, VW, and all the other big car companies, but many are own by others but I don’t see independent cars so it’s not competitive. Being big gives you an advantage but that is just regular economics of scale.

  15. I in the camp that believes that quantity does give you diversity which I equate with competition. There’s more diversity in the auto industry than there is in the wireless/wireline industry in Canada.

  16. If we pass C-32 we could be Nr. 1 at protecting DRM.


  17. @ Rui

    Here’s a quick list if you need more convincing that there is a lot of cell phone competition in Canada – I’m sure if I worked at it a bit I could find you a few more. Sure some of them are MVNO’s but they still choose which handsets they want to sell and design their own rate plans for the market they want to serve. But at the end of the day they still all provide talking, texting, and maybe even internet access if you want it. Not sure what more diversity you are looking for …

    Public Mobile
    Petro Canada
    7 Eleven
    Talk & Save
    Talk & Earn
    Sears Connect
    MTS AllStream
    Roam Mobility
    President’s Choice

  18. Mr. Eyeroll says:

    Everything you listed is 97% resold Bell or Rogers mobile under a different brand name or reseller. Also, the ones who directly do compete with Bell, Rogers or Telus (ie. wind, videotron, Mobile) have very small foot prints and are limited.

    So what was it you were saying about how I need more “convincing that there is a lot of cell phone competition in Canada”?

    Once you have educated yourself and discovered most of those brands are actually Bell or Rogers under a different name and the other carriers can only be had if everyone in Canada moves to a certain location, feel free to reply back with a corrected list.

    Better yet. Contact the CRTC and ask them which indi brands operate in given area’s in all of Canada. I bet the CRTC will tell you they maintain no such list and states there is enough competition like what you are doing.

  19. Patent Litigation says:

    Similar story
    Here is a similar story

    Chinese President Hu Jintao opened the annual Bo’ao Forum for Asia on Friday with a speech focussing on the event’s theme of ‘inclusive development.’

    ‘As the trend towards multi-polarity and economic globalization deepens, the people of Asia have the major task of maintaining both development and stability,’ Hu said.

  20. @ Mr. Eyeroll

    I don’t know where to even start with your ignorant response. So I’ll make it really easy for you. Go back to the World Economic Forum report which started this whole thread – Mr. Geist was kind enough to include a link in his post. Go to page 185 and scroll down to item 2.11. You will see that Canada is ranked #1 (albeit tied with some others) for internet and telephony competitiveness. In case you are not sure – a ranking of #1 is a good score, it means there is a lot of competition.

    If you don’t believe the WEF rankings then you might have to leave the comfort of your mother’s basement and tag along with her next time she goes to the mall. Ask her to help you count all the stores and kiosks in the mall that sell cell phones – but be forewarned you might need the fingers on both your hands.

    Now this might come as a shock to you so you might want to sit down. There are two provinces in Canada where the majority of the wireless market share is actually held by companies other than Bell, Rogers or Telus. I’m not going to tell you which two those are – that’s your homework assignment. But I’ll give you a hint – the answer is on page 159 of the 2010 CRTC Communications Monitoring Report.

    I’m puzzled and I suspect many others on this forum are also confused by your assertion that resellers are not really competitors to Bell or Rogers. If that is the case then why are we all busting our ass’s trying to defend the indi ISPs on the UBB wholesale issue since pretty much all of them are resellers – I thought we were trying to defend them as competitors to Bell?

  21. Robert.

    I think you were a bit tough on Eyeroll. I can see how you could interpret his note as condescending but it also could be that he is just a poor communicator. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It looks like you have done your homework and have backed up your assertions with some real data – well done. It’s obvious you are far more informed and Eyeroll needs to invest some time reading the reports and educating himself before he comments.

    Let’s please keep the conversation civilized.

  22. Mr. Eyeroll says:

    Robert said: “indi ISPs on the UBB wholesale issue since pretty much all of them are resellers”

    Robert, If you want to think “indi” ISP’s are indeed all the resellers of Bell Canada then, as Mark Goldberg states, there is no issue of competition and competition is thriving in Canada. There are hundreds of Bell resellers out there for you to choose from. Which is similar to the list of mobile providers you pasted (which are mostly all Bell and Rogers under a different name).

    If you think being an independent is the same as being a reseller of Bell and Rogers and that offers the people a choice in both service and who they give their money too, then you are sadly mistaken. In both cases (mobile and with landline) all money is funneled right back to Bell and Rogers (a couple of prov’s excluded).

    I don’t see how anyone can state a reseller is an indi provider. Even Dr. Geist makes this statement once in a while. If that is the case then Mark Goldberg is 100% correct and competition is thriving. No need for more resellers or need to control what Bell wants to do with its’ own network. Just move to another indi. Right? After all these indi’s providers are not dependent on Bell or Rogers and are independent, as you stated.

    Meanwhile the reality of it is the list you pasted is smoke and mirrors. There is no competition. It’s all resold under different names (with the exception of a few new entrants) with the money funneling to very specific companies.

    You remind me of Bell Canada when they said the spectrum auction should have nothing reserved for new entrants because competition is thriving and the Bell and Roger’s brands: Koodo, Fido, Chatr, Virgin, Solo, is enough competition and the market can’t bare anymore.


    You are parroting them, in case you are unaware of it.

    In the case of landline service you roll up all the resellers as indi’s. I find that rather crude. And as stated above, even Dr. Geist make this same claim once in a while, so you are not alone.

    While resellers like Teksavvy and Acanac and the other 500 common Bell resellers are being called indi’s by you and others, the true indi’s that have invested in their own network and equipment instead of being mere resellers and *dependent* upon Bell and Rogers, and pretend to be indi’s for marketing purposes, have very small geographic footprints that barely anyone can get (which is also true with mobile).

    You can remain blind and keep thinking a reseller is an indi and competition is thriving because we have Bell resellers of Bell companies under a different brand name (like teksavvy). But the truth of the matter is these are dependents and not independents.

    Ontario’s MNSi would be an Indi. Montreal’s Colba-Net would be an Indi. Primus (in certain locations) would be an Indi. Yet you are oblivious to this and think anyone with a different name than Bell or Rogers are true indi’s, and resellers like teksavvy are indi’s, just like you have with Bell and Rogers brands in the mobile list you pasted above. All the same right? Shows there is competition right? The market can’t bare new entrants right?

  23. @eyeroll

    So you are saying that Teksavvy isn’t really a competitor to Bell since they are a reseller. And that Teksavvy is really just a rebranded Bell service – I actually agree with you on that point since they buy wholesale from Bell and simply resell it. But I don’t agree with your suggestion that they don’t compete against Bell.

    But then you also say that the real competitors to Bell are indi ISPs who have built their own networks – I actually agree with you on that point as well. But let’s not forget that the true facilities based competitors are not dependent on Bell’s wholesale GAS tariff which is the epicenter of the UBB debate.

    So I guess we have to conclude that the UBB issue isn’t really about protecting competition (since according to you Teksavvy and their like aren’t really competitors). Then the UBB issue must be about something else, why would Teksavvy be so concerned about UBB since they are simply an agent of Bell?

    Could it be the main beneficiaries of the anti-UBB crusade are actually just the owners of the rellers since they don’t really compete with Bell?

  24. Mr. Eyeroll says:

    Robert, let’s be honest and cut it all down. GAS is another smoke and mirrors. This Bell resale regime called GAS was setup to make it look like there is competition but it’s all resold Bell. It’s no different than when the CRTC told Bell to overcharge people on telephone so that the fake competition reselling Bell under their own brand name can look like a viable telephone alternative (Thus the billion dollar deferral account fiasco).

    Same two peas in a pod. It’s fake. It’s setup by the government to make it seem like there is competition, and there is no choice and no real indi competition that the masses have access to.

    So getting back on topic with the mobile list you posted. I stand by my “ignorant” reply to your list and your claim that “there is a lot cell phone competition in Canada”. I don’t see how you can call a half dozen or so different brand names of Bell and Rogers competition. Each is Bell or Rogers no matter how you cut it.

    I’m all for the next auction totally blocking out Bell, Rogers and Telus. They are sitting on enough spectrum that isn’t even being used. It should all be reserved for new entrants so that there can actually be some *indi* competition against the likes of Bell and Rogers, which is the lions share of your list that claims to be competition, but is really all fake smoke and mirrors.

  25. @Robert: “Could it be the main beneficiaries of the anti-UBB crusade are actually just the owners of the rellers since they don’t really compete with Bell?”

    The first question to be answered in order to elucidate this is: “Is Bell’s congestion real or fabricated through their throttling machines?”


  26. Ranking what exactly?
    Canada – Internet & telephony competition =6 … Yes that is Rank #1

    As I stated earlier I’m concerned with plucking statistcs to prove your point. It must be looked at as a whole. Here Canada is ranked #1 in Internet & Telephony competition, but these are lumped together, are they equally #1?

    Also being in the #1 group is great until you realize who you are grouped with … Uganda (a country torn apart by 30 years of war), Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam, Nicaragua.

    Maybe we are ranked high up in the world for comparativeness, but that may mean we are all just two rungs up the ladder with a long way to go.

  27. John Williams says:

    UBB and competition
    If there was real telecommunication competition in Canada such that many unrelated telco’s could bid to provide service through a reverse auction where the company who would supply services at the lowest rate won then UBB would not be so bad. The current argument against UBB stands right now because much of Canada’s telecommunication infrastructure is essentially in the hands of a monopoly. If teksavvy was forced to follow Bell’s UBB plan they could not offer lower cost per bit unlimited data. The very fact that is possible shows that it is artificial competition set up through regulations not true competition of competing parties on an equal playing ground. The problem with that is that if a powerful group of telco’s convince CRTC to change the regulations they can undermine competition. The real problem is not UBB but the monopolistic traits of the telecommunications industry in Canada.

  28. Suspicious mind says:

    Does anyone else find it curious that Mr. Geist didn’t highlight many of the WEF stats where Canada’s ranking was very good? It seems he focused mostly on those where Canada’s ranking was in the middle of the pack or lower.

    Our economy represents 3% of the entire world, our population represents 0.6% of the entire world and we’re in the top 10 for 26 of the WEF rankings.

    Someone highlights one of Canada’s #1 rankings and Crockett and eyeroll jump all over it to discredit it. Curious that Mr. Geist doesn’t focus on the positives as much as he focuses on the negatives – maybe he is just trying to appease his audience – he knows that we humans prefer to complain about the negatives than celebrate the positives – it’s basic human nature.

  29. Mr. Eyeroll says:

    @Suspicious mind
    Listen. I didn’t even read the report. I purely and solely replied to Robert and the pretend list of competition he posted. End of story.

    Now if you actually read anything instead of coming in here with the sole agenda to try and discredit the Dr, you would have seen this.

    But since you haven’t, and since you are just pushing your own twisted agenda here, I think I’ll just ignore you for the feeble attempt of trolling you just tried, *eyeroll*.

    You don’t have a suspicious mind. You have an agenda for attacking someone. Or maybe you did too much acid in your younger years and it’s showing now….

  30. @ Suspicious Mind

    Just ignore Mr. Eyeroll – he thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Even the name he gave himself suggests he finds the rest of us humans to be irritating to his “self-proclaimed” intellectual superiority. Interesting how he has lots to say but openly admits he didn’t even read the report.

    You do raise a good point here though. Lots of focus and discrediting of positive ranking data – I think we have stumbled on a nest of whiners!

  31. Suspicious Mind says:


    Just making an observation, that’s all. The one or two people who tried to say something positive about Canada were attacked and discredited as either idiots or trolls. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, maybe not – it just looks suspiciously biased.